Caravan Towing Tips | For Beginners
4 Quick & Useful Tips for Safely Towing a Caravan
If you're looking to hit the open road and tow a caravan at the back of your vehicle, there's a few quick tips you'll need to know before making the road trip.
- Don’t overload it
Towing a caravan adds a significant amount of weight to your vehicle. Small caravans can weigh anywhere between 800 kilograms and 1.3 tonnes. Larger ones can weigh up to 1.8 tonnes.
The weight of what your car is pulling cannot legally exceed your vehicle's or towbar’s towing capacity (whichever is lowest).
It’s incredibly important to be aware of your vehicle's towing capacity and gross combination mass (GCM), so you don’t pull weights that can potentially damage your car or contribute to an accident. This information is usually specified by your car's manufacturer.
It is also critical to know your caravan's aggregated trailer mass (ATM), which is typically specified by the manufacturer of your caravan.
- Leave plenty of space
If your vehicle and the caravan you’re towing exceeds a length of 7.5 metres, then you'll need to keep at least 200 metres behind any other long vehicle on all roads outside built-up areas, and where you don't have more than one lane in the direction you are driving. The only exception is if you are overtaking another vehicle.
You should also always have a 'Do not overtake turning vehicle' sign on your caravan.
- Distribute weight evenly
When packing your caravan, make sure that all the weight inside it is distributed evenly.
Heavy items - Place them in first, just forward of the caravan's axles and low on the ground. They will need to be even on both sides of the vehicle. Do not store these items up high.
Medium-weight items – these should be loaded around the heavy items.
Light items – items that weigh less like clothing and smaller goods can be placed into overhead cupboards.
Once the caravan is loaded up, securely fasten everything down. If you don’t properly secure a load, you risk being fined.
- Stick to a safe speed limit
Since you're carrying hundreds of kilos more than what your car normally would, it's important to stick to a safe speed limit.
You shouldn't travel more than 100 kilometres per hour when you're towing a caravan, even if the speed limits allow you to travel that fast.
The safest towing speed is generally between 80 to 90 kilometres per hour - this will save you on fuel and give you some wriggle room in case you to need to unexpectedly slam on the brakes.
Other caravan towing tips
Other useful things you'll need to know when towing a caravan is to:
- Ensure your tow vehicle has been properly serviced
- Check that your suspension is in good order
- Check the tyre pressure of both your caravan and your towing vehicle
- Double check that you've hitched your caravan correctly to your vehicle - you don't want it escaping while you're driving!
And, of course, if you’re looking for excellent accessories for your car's tow bar, trailer or caravan, look no further than our very own towing accessories range here at Reel Outfitters Co. We have a vast range of hitches suitable for your next trip out on the open road, all designed with the aim of keeping your caravan secure and your trip safe. Get in touch with us if you've got any questions - we'll gladly give you a truckload of more caravan towing tips!